FSNS opens food testing lab in Omaha

Picture: FSNS lab in Omaha

Food Safety Net Services (FSNS) has opened a 16,400 square foot lab in Omaha, Nebraska with an investment in excess of $3m.

The Omaha location will offer microbial and chemical testing, and education and training services.

FSNS’ expertise is in understanding beef slaughter but the lab can test all food and beverage types.

It is an expansion of services for customers in the north central region of the US.

Boost presence in middle of US

John Bellinger, FSNS CEO, said it had wanted to open a lab in the middle of the US for a number of years.

“Omaha is in the centre mid-west and we had wanted to open a lab there for many years to satisfy the needs of our mid-west customers. It is a strategic location for the customer base we have and for agriculture,” he said.

“[Turnaround time] depends on the test but for raw beef samples it is a total of 12-16 hours for quantitative analysis.

“There is a sense of urgency, the customer is under pressure to deliver for their customer base and they need a dependable food safety partner.

“FSMA is slowly taking effect but USDA plants have inspectors in plants every day, so it is more challenging for USDA plants in the US.

“We will test US product being exported outside of the US in the Omaha lab. Not so much imported product as the US sample detention program means it is tested at entry points of ports and would be at the Los Angeles and San Antonio labs.”

Microbial and chemical analysis

FSNS will retain 45 jobs in the Omaha market with plans to add more in the coming years.

Grizelda Trevino is Omaha lab manager and roles include management team, operations manager, quality people, technical manager, supervisors and couriers.

Microbial equipment includes several PCR and immuno-assays such as Hygiena BAX, BioControl Genetic Detection System (GDS) and bioMérieux Vidas and allergen kits from vendors such as Neogen.

FSNS also has labs in Dallas, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, California; Fresno, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Boise, Idaho and will open a site in Greeley, Colorado in March next year.

The firm, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a national network of ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratories.

It also offers training sessions on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), Safe Quality Food (SQF), Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Preventive Controls for Human Food, British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Food Safety – Issue 7, internal auditing and microbiology and food safety.

FSNS provides expert technical resources that assist companies with implementing food safety and quality programs that deliver information needed to improve process controls. Additional services include GFSI, SQF and PAACO, approved auditing and certification capabilities.

The firm has also recently joined the National Chicken Council as an allied member company. Jeff Carpenter, SVP, strategic alliances, will be the official representative to NCC.

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